Why Nutritional Yeast Belongs in your Pantry
We think nutritional yeast is in serious need of a rebrand. For those unfamiliar with this savoury, nutrition-packed powder, the name is less than appetizing. And let’s be honest…it’s not about to win any beauty contests either. But this unassuming ingredient absolutely deserves a spot in everyone’s pantry. Affectionally known as “nooch” in many vegan circles, nutritional yeast is not only delicious – it’s an incredibly healthy source of vitamins and protein.
What is nutritional yeast?
Yeast is yeast, right? Not exactly. Not to be confused with baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast is usually grown on molasses, then harvested, washed and dried into flakes. And unlike baker’s yeast, it’s no longer active, so it can’t keep growing after you digest it.
Packed with protein
Why is nutritional yeast such an amazing ingredient for vegans and vegetarians? It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce. In other words, it’s an effortless way to work extra protein in your diet, without the added cholesterol, saturated fat or environmental impact of many animal-based proteins. And that’s good news for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Eat your vitamins
Believe it or not, this super-powder is also packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, selenium, thiamine, folate, B-6, niacin and (last but not least!) zinc. And one serving will give you about 4 g of fibre. Many brands of nutritional yeast are also fortified with vitamin B-12 – which is usually only found in animal products. Just a half tablespoon of “nooch” can provide up to a day’s worth of B vitamins! Which is great, because they are essential for our metabolism and energy production.
A matter of taste
Almost sounds too good to be true, right? And we could keep on going, telling you that nutritional yeast is low in sodium and fat, gluten-free…and the list goes on. But we’ve saved the best for last: the taste. Nutritional yeast is actually delicious – savoury, rich and a little nutty. In other words, packed with umami.
So, how can you work this magical ingredient into your diet? Start thinking of it as a mix between butter and parmesan. It’s great sprinkled over popcorn, pasta and (take it from us!) Caesar salads. You can whisk it into marinades, dressings and anywhere else you want to add a touch of savoury richness. Trust us, your jar of “nooch” will have some prime real estate on your pantry shelf in no time.